We have the following logo for a project at my school:

(PDF: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/13934366/M2/Grafiska/Logotyp/M2.pdf)

Now, as you can see, it has a descending triangle to make it look like a speech bubble. However, we still want it to be centered based on the center of the rectangle. So I figured I'd just add an identical margin above the rectangle to the one below it created by the descending triangle.

But whenever we use the logo in other programs, such as Photoshop or Pages, they ignore this margin with regards to positioning etc, and instead crop to the actual content. Is there any way to avoid this behavior?

When using Place... in Photoshop, it's possible to select "Crop to Crop Box" which initially inserts it with the extra margin. But if I use the alignment tools, it will still align it as the "naked" logo.

Update: It seems the consensus is "eyeball it" in most applications. I should, however, mention that InDesign actually places things with the frame/artboard intact. Considering Pages has a masking tool for images, it should be possible to adjust the margins for that application as well.

  • 1
    as you may be realizing from the answers, there will always be a need for some manual placement and decision making in design. This is not a flaw in the software.
    – horatio
    Nov 11, 2011 at 18:04
  • @horatio The problem here are the other applications which ignore the artboard. I have centered the logo manually (if you will) in Illustrator by adding the appropriate margins; however, applications like Photoshop ignore the imported artboard when aligning the logo. Surely that's a flaw in those (Photoshop, Pages) applications. InDesign, I should mention, does have an option of keeping the "frame", however.
    – vicvicvic
    Nov 12, 2011 at 14:51
  • If your style guide states that the logo must appear only on a white background, that's one option...put a white background behind it to the size of the bounding box you want. This will prevent people from putting it on a colored background (which is maybe a good thing, given the logo, itself, has so many colors).
    – DA01
    Nov 12, 2011 at 18:05
  • I think the flaw is in expecting the software to know where your arbitrary center point is. A white bounding box is certainly a workable option, along with a clipping path which, in this particular instance, would be trivial to construct.
    – horatio
    Nov 15, 2011 at 18:39
  • 1
    Well, sure, but no one is expecting that in this question. The question is based on having defined a center point and wanting that information to be retained when I use the artwork in various other applications.
    – vicvicvic
    Nov 15, 2011 at 22:22

7 Answers 7


There is a workaround for Photoshop if what you're trying to do is align the horizontal center. As you've discovered, Photoshop's auto-align tools look only at the pixels and ignore that 100% transparent top margin, but if you invoke Free Transform (Cmd/Ctl-T) you'll see that the Smart Object still remembers your initial "Crop to Crop Box" choice, so the horizontal center handles will be in the right place.

Drag a guide and snap it to those handles, exit Free Transform and snap your other object(s) to the guide.

Alternatively, drag out your guide first, then use the Free Transform trick to let you snap the logo to the guide at the correct center alignment.

In layout-challenged applications such as Pages, you're going to have to eyeball it, I think.


For Pages your problem is fully solvable:

Simply make an invisible frame (i.e. safe zone) around the logo and save as .AI:

  1. Create a rectangular safe zone frame around the logo.
  2. Set its Fill & Stroke to None (invisible).
  3. Save as .AI.
  4. Drop the logo in your Pages document, Done. Safe zone persists around your logo.

Good question, and something that I've found a problem myself.

You could create a separate version of the logo which includes a visible crop box.

Make it really obvious it's not to be used for final artwork - probably by having the text "FOR PLACEMENT ONLY" right across it.

Once you've got it right, place the regular logo over the top and delete the original "placement" logo.


I'm quite sure the logo, saved as vector, png or gif, will make that margin disappear when exported, because what the programs read is that there is no information in that space (at least I'm certain about it in all the adobe products). I'm not sure why you need it though. Is it only for alignment? If you are making this logo for someone else, you can clarify in the logo manual that that space needs to be always empty. Hope I helped!

  • If you look at the files I've linked (the PNG and the PDF) you can see that there's a space above the logo. This is because I made the artboard "bigger". So the information is definitely in the exported files. I want this extra space to be considered when aligning so that the vertical center of the logo is the center of the rectangle and not the center of rectangle + descender.
    – vicvicvic
    Nov 10, 2011 at 13:41
  • the information is in the exported file when you saved it from illustrator or the program you used to do it. But when importing (perhaps I should have used that word) to Photoshop or illustrator, it's not reading that space. And I don't know of any way to import a transparent image without automatically cropping it. Maybe someone else does, I'll follow this question.
    – Yisela
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:19
  • 1
    this a very wrong practise, but in case there isn't a way to import that transparent space or you are in a hurry... you could put a single pixel with 1% opacity (or something like that) in one of the top corners. The png should save it, it wouldn't be visible and it would recreate the box.
    – Yisela
    Nov 10, 2011 at 14:27

This question is old but I had the same issue and was able to solve it for my case. In my case, the image is to be exported and used in a mobile app. The image needs to be centered in the app with respect to content. One way to make that happen is to include addition transparent "padding" on the left or right. When the app layout centers such an image it appears as desired. I am using Photoshop.

I found that using "Export -> Export as..." did the trick but "Export -> Layers as Files" did not.


In Illustrator.. Add a no fill, no stroke rectangle around the full area of the logo, including the additional margin at the top.

This will cause the art to be seen as that entire block but that "hollow" rectangle will never show anywhere.


In this case, I wouldn't use a PNG, but I'd do the same thing you're discussing in an AI artboard.

Both Illustrator and InDesign support import options. When placing in either program, there's a checkbox "Show Import Options."

Check that and you can (for example):

  1. Select which AI artboard to place (I usually make ONE logo file with taglines, logomarks, wordmarks, and other graphics on separate layers. I also have three artboards for color, black, and white. This way, I only have one logo file and three versions or more. When I place, I select which one I want then turn on/off layers based on which one I want. I also have a non-printing background layer for the white version.)
  2. Select which Layer(s) to show
  3. Select the bounding box
  4. Select to show Photoshop Layer Comps

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